Archive for Blog


Thought Soup

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I usually don’t post a lot of ‘techie’ stuff on this blog. I’m considering starting another blog for this type of thing. But I DID want to at least mention it.

Let me back up, first. I started blogging as a way to get the word out about the t-shirts and gifts that I design for CafePress and Zazzle. That was almost two years ago. I really didn’t know too much about blogging and such, so I jumped in with a free blogger account. I’ve been pretty happy with it.

But, once I opened the restaurant, I got a blog started over there. And I used WordPress. I love it! It’s on my own domain, and it’s much easier to tweak things. I have since used WordPress to set up an affiliate site or two. And I’m getting better at it! I’ve learned so much…how to install wordpress, playing with themes, and so on. I recently did two things with WordPress, and they’ve made me very happy.

First, I actually PURCHASED a theme. I purchased the Flexx theme from iThemes. I love it! It’s very easy to change the layout, colors and pics. Easy peasy. I also found a plug in for automatic updating. I loved it so much, I actually donated to the author (which is something I can’t afford to do as much as I would like). Here’s the link to the plug in.

Now, am I going to break up with blogger? Nah, I don’t think so. It’s worked for me so far, and I guess I’m sort of attached. I have, however, re-directed links to my own site. So, you can also find this stuff at

Just a little mention of regular life: The new menu starts at Downey’s House on Tuesday, so I’ve been busy! I’m printing them up today. It’s been a crazy couple of weeks trying to get the menu together, programming it into our POS system, and making sure we have all our i’s and t’s dotted and crossed. On top of it all, the girls and I are headed down to Florida on Wednesday. Packing? Haven’t even really thought about it yet.

I also (finally) finished reading Dead Until Dark. I really, really enjoyed it…even though it took me much longer than it should have to read it. I bought the next 2 books to read while we’re in Florida. Hopefully I get enough ‘me’ time when we’re there. If you watched True Blood, the book and the show are pretty similar. But I was surprised that there wasn’t any mention of Tara (the bartender). I’m not going to spoil anything for anybody, so I’ll just say that there WERE differences in the book versus the series. But I think that both are very good.

OK, the girls are complaining that everything is ‘Booooorrrrriiiiinnnnnnnggggg!’ How about an exciting trip to Staples, girls? (OH, that makes me thing of a quick side note: I have always loved the smell of office supply stores. I’m strange. I love the smell of toner and paper. It makes me happy. We walked into Staples yesterday and Becca, with a smile on her face, said ‘Mom, mmmmmmm…it smells GOOD in here! Poor thing.)

Wow…this post really did go just about everywhere. Like I’ve mentioned before, sometimes I just can’t focus :) Have a great day!


You: The Peeping Tom Seeing My Morning

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I don’t really know if my family and friends know what happens during a typical Heather morning. I can’t imagine that they do know. So, just in case anybody cares (and to make myself feel a little better), here’s how my morning went. Today was an easy one, because we didn’t have to leave the house at all. Well, just a quick run to the bus stop. So, here it goes:

  • 4:30 am – Wake up to see 3 year old in front of my face, asking for milk. Realize that I’m in Becca’s bed, and fell asleep around 9:15.
  • 5:00 am – Think that it’s a good idea to wake up and get some stuff done. And I actually wake up.
  • 5:00-5:45 – Spend some quality time with the husband, who has not gone to bed yet. He also thinks that it is currently still THURSDAY. I continue to correct him, telling him that it’s FRIDAY.
  • 5:45-6:00 – Watch 15 minutes of the news. Wish I looked as good as Sonni Abatta.
  • 6:00-6:25 – Watch ‘The Office.’ Laugh. It was a good one.
  • 6:25-7:00 – Make large pot of coffee. Check e-mail. Log in the numbers from the restaurant last night. Prepare deposit. Figure out the change order. Update our POS system for Friday specials.
  • 7:00-7:05 – Drink more coffee. Smoke another cigarette
  • 7:05-7:06 – Start vacuuming a plethora of nerds candy from the family room. Realize that it’s 7:06, and decide I need to shower
  • 7:06 – 7:35 – Wake Becca. Iron her outfit. Wake her again. Brush teeth, shower, greet crazy-haired Chloe, help Becca into her tights and dress. Come downstairs. Finish vacuuming aforementioned nerds.
  • 7:36 – Yell upstairs for everybody to hurry – we have 19 minutes
  • 7:36-7:55 – Pack a lunch, make a waffle, drink more coffee, have a smoke, find missing glove for Becca, brush Becca’s hair, grab almost-forgotten library book for Becca. Pack one pretty-looking sweetheart and one bed-head, pajama-clad, slipper-wearing sweetheart into car for 1 block ride to bus stop (it was cold!)
  • 8:05-8:10 – Turn show on for Chloe, sit down to write blog post for Downey’s House
  • 8:10-8:11 – Get Chloe a banana
  • 8:11-8:30 – Finish blog post, check some forums and twitter. See that CafePress is down. Complain about it on twitter
  • 8:30-8:31 – Put another television show on for Chloe
  • 8:31-8:45 – Hang out with Chloe, tickling her until she begs me to stop
  • 8:45-9:05 – Finish up with checking sales and stats online. Look up code numbers for the liquor I’m about to order
  • 9:05-9:06 – Get Chloe some strawberries
  • 9:06-9:15 – Order the liquor, enter amount into Quickbooks
  • 9:15-9:45 – Help Chloe make Kool-Aid for her ‘Lemonade Stand.’ A lemonade stand where there are two customers: Me and a small stuffed bear. Play lemonade stand.
  • 9:45-9:55 – Start dusting and cleaning the glass in the family room. Decide I’m not in the mood to really do much more cleaning right now.
  • 9:55-10:05 – Spend 10 minutes searching for a copy of our new menu that Tony wrote revisions on. Finally give up, and hope I remember the revisions.
  • 10:05-10:10 – Take phone call from the restaurant
  • 10:10-10:11 – Start menu revisions
  • 10:11-10:12 – Cut up an apple for Chloe
  • 10:12-10:20 – Work on the revisions some more
  • 10:20-10:22 – Help Chloe in the potty
  • 10:22-10:30 – Finish with the revisions. Hope I got them all.
  • 10:30-10:33 – Re-wash the laundry I left in the washing machine overnight. Freshen up clothes in dryer
  • 10:33-11:00 – Print up a copy of the fixed menu. Remember that I also need employment apps printed up. Do that. Deal with my desktop and what my security scan found.
  • 11:00-11:20 – Fold the laundry with Chloe. Yes, it takes that long.
  • 11:20-11:23 – Sit down to sign our corporate tax returns
  • 11:23-11:24 – Get Chloe some carrots
  • 11:24-11:30 – Decide to boil some eggs. Smoke a cigarette
  • 11:30-11:45 – Fart around on the internet. Still annoyed that CafePress is farked up.
  • 11:45-11:50 – Sew up the back of Chloe’s Build-A-Bear
  • 11:50-12:00 – Get the eggs from the stove. Decide to write this post.
  • 12:00-12:03 – Make toast for Chloe
  • 12:03-12:10 – Continue with post
  • 12:10-12:11 – Get a hard boiled egg for Chloe
  • 12:11-12:16 – Continue with post
  • 12:16-12:17 – Make witty remark on Twitter. Well, I thought it was witty
  • 12:17-12:20 – More blog post
  • 12:20-12:22 – Get Chloe some Kool-Aid
  • 12:22-12:30 (now) more blog post.

So, there’s my morning so far. The thrilling life of a work-at-home-business-owner-mom. You know, throughout this time line, there’s the conversations I have with Chloe. Well, they’re not really conversations. It’s more like a question and answer period. That lasts, um, all day. These kinds of mornings are actually my favorite. I get some business stuff accomplished, get some housework (sort of) accomplished, I get to be social with my online friends, and I get to hang out with my Chloe.

Now, I’m gonna go and make myself some egg salad. I did sneak a granola bar in sometime around 8:00. But I’m hungry!

Want to follow me on twitter? I’m at


Careful, Karma Might Bite Ya in the Ass

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This link was posted on twitter today. And if you go and read this, you can see that this is a bitter, crabby guy just looking to get a rise out of people. Now, I’m going to be honest about a lot of things:

  1. The only time I ever read anything from Mike Seate was when PittGirl blogged about it
  2. I don’t have a problem with his writing, exactly
  3. I don’t like it when people don’t understand something and then pretend like they do.

Mike says that he doesn’t know why people blog when it’s not for money. I’m going to say that (totally my guess) 90% of people blogging are doing it for money. It might not be money directly. It might be to promote something that they are making money on. A blog might have some great instructional content, and the writer may live off the affiliate links. Could be many reasons. And hey, there are people who just like to write. For whatever reason. Does it really matter what their reasons are? Ten years ago they may have been writing in a diary or a ratty old notebook. Maybe they have dreams of someday being paid to be a writer. Happens all the time. There are two blogs that I follow regularly, and Because I said So. Both of these bloggers sucked me into their writing. Their style was inviting and humorous. They BOTH now have books (one released recently, and one being released in April). There are many other bloggers that make a fantastic living from their blogs (quite possibly more than Mike Seate).

Now, I don’t know the reasons behind Mr. Seate’s column downing bloggers. There could be many reasons that he felt moved to write that column. Afraid of competition? Jealous that these writers are free to post whatever their little hearts desire? Who knows. And that’s why I’m not going to judge his column, exactly. I just think that if you are going to throw your opinion around like that, please be informed. Or at least admit that you are not informed, and that your opinion is coming only from what you are currently aware. Can’t everybody just play nice?


Now me? Well, I’m more of a numbers girl :)

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Yes, another blog

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Hey! I started a new blog! It’s completely in its infancy, but it’s going to be a blog about different products and stores and such that I like. So, go check it out. I’ll be adding something every day.
Here’s the link: Stuff Heather Likes

Categories : Blog, Heather Downey, website
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Filling a void

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Well, I have to say that my days just have felt a little ‘off’ lately. It’s all about the morning routine. My mornings are not the exact same every day. Um, if you’re a mom you know that NOTHING is the same every day with two kids. But, I usually have some time before noon to stop by and check on the blogs that are up above me as I type in my bookmark toolbar in FireFox. And I’m not going on and on, but since the Burgh Blog is gone, I’ve decided I’m on a mission to find another blog (or two) to fill that void. I have a few Pittsburgh bloggers I’m checking out, and I’ll share after I stick with them for a couple of weeks.

So, speaking of mornings, I’ve finally convinced Becca to let me drive her to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Chloe has preschool those days, and we gain another 40 minutes in the morning if I just drop Becca off at school before I take Chloe to preschool. So, we enjoyed our little bit of extra time today. While Becca was eating her bowl of Coco Puffs (not the plain chocolate kind – they’re half vanilla and half chocolate) she told me about her gym class the other day. I guess that some of the kids from the other team were making faces at her when she was having her turn. Now, I would guess that they were probably making faces at everybody, but Becca takes these things very personally. So, I asked her what she did when they were making the faces. She said that she didn’t do anything. So, I tried to teach her about sarcasm. Probably not such a good idea for a five year old. I told her “Why don’t you say ‘WOW, that face you’re making makes you look SOOOOOOOO beautiful.’” She laughed, and I think she understood LISTENING to sarcasm. But she said she couldn’t say that. It would be lying.

Yes, my kid follows the rules pretty well. D@mn those rules.

Well, seeing that it’s after midnight and the alarm sounds at 6:30, I’d better get going. Yeah! for the Steelers’ win tonight. Boo! for the snow.

Categories : Blog, motherhood, Pittsburgh
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